Potent anti-cancer activity of Alnus nitida against lung cancer cells; in vitro and in vivo studies

Biomed Pharmacother. 2019 Feb;110:254-264. doi: 10.1016/j.biopha.2018.11.138. Epub 2018 Dec 1.


Alnus nitida is used for multiple disorders in norther areas of Pakistan. In this study we have evaluated methanol extract of leaf (ANL) and stem bark (ANB) of A. nitida against two lung cancer cell lines; A-549 and H460 (Human non-small lung cancer cell lines) during in vitro assays for growth inhibition. Treatment with ANL and ANB markedly inhibited the growth of both cancer cell lines. Exposure of A-549 and H460 cancer cell lines to ANL and ANB inhibited cell survival, colony growth and migration of cells. Further, treatment of A-549 and H460 with ANL and ANB indicated alteration in actin fibers after staining with rhodamine-phalloidin. Both extracts cause shrinkage and cell cycle arrest during G1 phase. Treatment of A-549 and H460 cancer cells with ANL and ANB repressed the expression of anti-apoptotic proteins Bcl-2 and Bcl-xL along with downregulation of NFκB, cyclin D1 and PI3-K protein. In addition, intraperitoneal injection of ANL and ANB (10 mg/kg bw and 20 mg/kg bw) to C57BL/6 J mice implanted with B16F10 (Mouse melanoma cancer cell line) cells significantly (p < 0.01) decreased the number of nodules per lung and the level of various proteins reciprocating the in vitro studies. These results suggest that ANL and ANB be explored further for therapeutic use in lung cancer.

Keywords: Actin fibers; Alnus nitida; Apoptosis; Colony survival; Lung cancer.

MeSH terms

  • A549 Cells
  • Alnus*
  • Animals
  • Antineoplastic Agents, Phytogenic / isolation & purification
  • Antineoplastic Agents, Phytogenic / pharmacology
  • Antineoplastic Agents, Phytogenic / therapeutic use*
  • Cell Survival / drug effects
  • Cell Survival / physiology
  • Dose-Response Relationship, Drug
  • Humans
  • Lung Neoplasms / drug therapy*
  • Lung Neoplasms / metabolism
  • Lung Neoplasms / pathology
  • Mice
  • Mice, Inbred C57BL
  • Plant Extracts / isolation & purification
  • Plant Extracts / pharmacology
  • Plant Extracts / therapeutic use*
  • Xenograft Model Antitumor Assays / methods


  • Antineoplastic Agents, Phytogenic
  • Plant Extracts